I was really sore after a second night of camping…scooting and camping is not a good combo for my back. I had a lame attempt at stretching while checking out the 2 interesting neighbours we had camping nearby. One guy on a bike with a huge flag saying ‘Cycle America for Cancer’ and a donations box. He was chain smoking.
On the other side was a guy using an entire spray can of ant repellant on a tree because apparently there were too many ants and the tree didn’t like it?!
I attempted a brief conversation with cancer man. He told me he was cycling the West Coast raising money for cancer (not promoting it apparently). His wife and daughter had started with him only they had quit ‘because they’re girls so didn’t have it in them’. I told him that I was a girl and had just scooted from Canada so maybe it was just because they didn’t want to hang out with him any more (I didn’t say this although I wanted to!).
Scooting with dolphins
We stopped at a coffee shop and started writing the fundraising talk we had booked for 2 days time…better late than never. The previous talks had all been 20mins. This one was over an hour so we had a lot more content to work out.
We couldn’t get to our warm showers host until after 5pm so we took plenty of breaks throughout the day. I was really enjoying the scoot in between, listening to an American Road Trip playlist on my phone. Gil was struggling though so I refrained from doing my usual singing out loud as he already had enough to deal with.
The highlight of the day was an easy one. Spotting a pod of dolphins cruising just next to us on the beach. They followed us for a full 3km until we turned in land.
Chris and Gary were the couple hosting us that evening and they were just lovely. We were spoilt with a delicious meal and I watched mesmerised as Chris got stuck in to his knitting…he’s quite a pro!
My enjoyable scooting was short lived and I woke up feeling sluggish. We’d got up at 1am in the night to give an interview for a BBC radio breakfast show. At least it was foggy outside which took the edge of the intense heat we’ve had non-stop since reaching Pismo Beach.
Our aim today was Malibu. I was hoping for lots of sea views and surfers to watch but the busy roads had other ideas. On our left we had traffic and on our right rows of parked cars. You have to be really alert with parked cars as people have a tendency to open their door or pull out without looking.
At mid afternoon we were met by Devon (our filmmaker) who’d flown in from Seattle. He spent the rest of the day frog hopping to catch shots of us scooting up and down the coastal path. He’ll be shadowing us for 2 more days.
So many crazy houses!
That night we stayed with Jed and Sue the parents of Robyn who’d hosted us previously. We were in for a treat! They foster dogs are were currently looking after 7 puppies along with their own 4 dogs. Jed even took us out for frozen yoghurt in his Chevrolet (1956…Gil tells me that’s an important detail!).
A non-stop day
We were meant to finish our talk the night before but got distracted with the puppies. Can you blame us?!
It meant we had to play catch up in the morning and weren’t on the road scooting until 11am. We got our heads down and scooted as fast as we could to Santa Monica. The last 10km were especially nice as we were on a path that cut straight through the beach.
There was no mistaking when we had arrived in Santa Monica.
We headed straight to General Assembly where we were delivering our talk in 2 hours time. We grabbed a make shift wash in the ‘restroom’ sink and changed our clothes (our warm shower host couldn’t take us until later). Then headed to Chipotle for dinner and to run through the talk one last time.
I don’t normally get nervous before a talk but for some reason the nerves really started to kick in. As soon as I got going I was fine though. It was only a small crowd (which we expected for a Friday night) but I loved it. My favourite part of a talk is chatting to people afterwards and it made me happy to hear so many people saying they felt inspired. And we got some more donations.
We grabbed a quick drink following the talk then travelled the last 2km to our host for the night. It was the first time we’d scooted in the dark. I felt seriously wiped out and was very grateful when our hosts flatmates Sam and Chris headed to bed after a quick chat. I grabbed the floor and Gil the sofa. I went to sleep grinning. I can’t believe we’re in LA!! I can’t take it in as I feel like I’m on a whirlwind tying to fit in scooting, press, meeting people, fundraising, talks and all the other stuff in between.
I got woken up by a homeless man rummaging around the bins by the kitchen window. We headed straight to a nearby vegan cafe where I had a super bowl…my new favourite thing!!
Devon meet us on an electric scooter so he could tail us for the rest of the day. There were some serious skills involved in him scooting one handed so he could hold the camera in his other hand. These electric scooters are all over LA and I have serious envy.
The beach was packed with people exercising and playing sports so there was lots to look at. We scooted through Venice (California not Italy) and took a left, saying goodbye to the water as we headed to Torrance.
People kept warning us to be careful scooting in this area but everywhere we passed seemed fine. LA definitely has a shady side but most of the ones to avoid just seem to be odd folk who’ve spent way too much time in the sun.
A previous host had put us in touch with Lyndon and Wendy who were putting us up for a couple of nights. They made us feel very welcome and comfortable so I grabbed a much needed nap.
Here’s me looking hot and tired…it’s not easy scooting in this heat!
That night they had some lovely friends over for dinner. I was enjoying the feeling of knowing we had a full 2 days off. We’ve been scooting for 8 tough days so the break was much needed.
Checking out Hollywood
We’d had a really exciting invitation from the guys at Universal Studios Hollywood to come visit the park. They wanted to take pictures to share on their social media so we had to work out the logistics of getting our scooters there. It was too good an opportunity to miss! The easiest solution was to stay in an Airbnb close by the night before. That also meant we could explore Hollywood for an afternoon.
We visited the Griffith Observatory and of course walked the famous Hollywood Boulevard which I would describe as manic and tacky!
I didn’t know Trump had a star on the walkway but it turns out people aren’t too happy about it!
There was only one way to end a day in Hollywood and that was with a movie and dinner. We saw the latest Mission Impossible which was good fun. The best part was when the people in the cinema all cheered on Tom Cruise during a particularly tense scene then all stood up to clap at the end of the film. Americans are a funny lot…who were we clapping?!
When we arrived at Universal Studios the next day we were met by their media team and a photographer. They cleared the crowds from the red carpet so we could get a great shot with the scooters then passed us Express Passed before letting us loose in the park. We were so excited. This felt quite unreal!
We did almost all the rides – our favourite ones 2 or 3 times. I loved Harry Potter world (I want to live there!) and the Mummy ride. There was also a great moment in a water show when a guy started arguing with a stunt man because he’d been splashed with water (he was in the front row sat on a bench saying ‘wet zone’). For a moment I thought it was part of the show but no, he was actually being serious. Of course the crowd of hundreds all started booing and yelling out. It was all very dramatic. Such entertainment!
It was just the best day and we loved every minute. We haven’t laughed that much in ages so thank you Universal!
We are doing this expedition to raise money for ACE. Please help us build a school in Tanzania by donating here. Thank you…..your support means a lot!!!
This expedition is being supported by Vivo Life!